By SERGEY KADINSKY
Forgotten NY correspondent
In recent years, the coastlines of Manhattan and Brooklyn have been reclaimed by the public as ribbons of waterfront parkland take up shores that previously belonged to industry. As we reported previously in College Point and North Astoria, Queens’ East River Shoreline is not as accessible. Here, residential developers hold sway and instead of parks, gated communities separate the public from the water. In our continuing series on the borough’s northern coast, we now visit Whitestone, Beechhurst and Fort Totten.
Whitestone is the northernmost neighborhood in Queens, situated between Whitestone Bridge and Throgs Neck Bridge. Its shoreline is largely comprised of upper income tract mansions and high rise apartments. An important ferry landing prior to the construction of Whitestone Bridge, the community was served by the Long Island Railroad until 1932. Near the eponymous bridge, Francis Lewis Park occupies a portion of the former estate of American revolutionary Francis Lewis. The park has a small cove that has a beach, but swimming is prohibited. Considering that Queens’s north shore once had numerous beaches with resorts and amusement parks prior to the Second World War, are there any swimming sites still in operation on the East River?
Whitestone Boosters Civic Association
At a dead-end segment of the never-completed Powells Cove Boulevard to the east of 149th Place is a traffic loop monitored by Whitestone Boosters Civic Association. It is one of the two last private beaches remaining on the Queens shoreline of the East River. A third can be found in Little Neck Bay. In a neighborhood filled with private gated communities, cameras and security guards, the best day for me to check out these beaches is when there is a heavy downpour and no one’s watching. Known as Boosters Beach, it occurring a narrow sliver of sand behind a tall fence.
A former country club, Cresthaven, Powell’s Cove Boulevard between 3rd and 6th Avenues, once occupied 22 acres of waterfront real estate. Following its closing in 1989, the property was subdivided for tract mansions accessed by private streets. A couple of these streets reach the water’s edge, but it does not appear that there is a beach in use at Cresthaven. From the bead-end at Cresthaven, one can see Whitestone Point Rock. This outcropping used to have a lighthouse that was operated by a keeper until around 1990. It has since been automated like all other lighthouses in the city. Between 1889 and 1908, Whitestone Point had a romantic-looking lighthouse tower with a bell. Today, a simple skeleton tower with a beacon performs the duty.
Beechhurst Property Owners Association
At the landing of 158th Street near Riverside Drive, a waterfront parcel as wide as the street belongs to Beechhurst Property Owners Association (BPOA) whose logo resembles a DOT-issue bridge directional sign. To the left of the beach entrance is a private segment of Riverside Drive, where one can find eight oversize tract mansions with their own docks and waterfront pools. Because Beechhurst shares the 11357 zip code with the more populated neighborhood of Whitestone, it is regarded by outsiders as part of Whitestone to the dismay of some residents.
At the eastern end of Whitestone / Beechhurst, the shoreline curves south into Little Bay. This promontory is known on maps as Cryder’s Point. In the early 20th century, this location was part of Long Island’s Gold Coast, a stretch of waterfront mansions covering the northern shores of Queens and Nassau counties. In 1924, Queens’ Gold Coast was enhanced by the construction of Wildflower, briefly the home of Broadway impresario Oscar Hammerstein II, who named the mansion after one of his plays. In 1930, Hammerstein fell on hard times and sold the mansion. From the early 1980s until 1999, the landmarked mansion fell into decay, overshadowed by Throgs Neck Bridge. Since then, the property was developed with upscale townhouses and the 15-room mansion was divided into six condo units. Because the estate has a gate and 24-hour security, the best I could do here is poke my camera between the fence posts. Although Wildflower has a beach, it is not used for swimming.
The modernist apartment complex’s name seems like a nod to architect Le Corbusier, who promoted the Tower-In-The-Park concept in the postwar period. Only 19 percent of Le Havre’s land is occupied by buildings. The rest is a private park-like terrain. In French, its name translates as “The Harbor.” Completed in 1958, Le Havre comprises of 32 towers on 32 acres of waterfront land. Each apartment has a terrace and full-length windows.
Wildflower and Le Havre are both located at Powells Cove Boulevard and Totten Street.
Running between Beechhurst and Jamaica Estates, this roadway begins as a one-lane dead-end on the shore of Little Bay. Behind the dead-end are the Wildflower townhouses. Across the bay from Utopia Parkway is Fort Totten and behind it is Great Neck. At this location (by some accounts) East River becomes known as Long Island Sound.
The northeast extreme of Queens is an ear-shaped peninsula that was used as an army base between 1857 and 1995. Following the army’s decommissioning of this historic base, the peninsula is shared by the Fire Department, NYPD, Parks Department, Coast Guard and a small remnant portion retained by the U.S. Army Reserve. While some of the buildings on the former base are actively used as offices and training facilities, others are in a dilapidated state, ravaged by the moisture and winds of the bay. Some of the former army residences appear as if transported from a small town. As a former residential community, Fort Totten had its own post office, zip code, swimming pool, little league and street signs. On the map, military names include Sgt. Beers Avenue and Walter Reed Road.
The largest unused building at Fort Totten is the former hospital, which flanks the Parade Ground. Reminiscent of Liggett Hall on Governors Island, it nearly spans the width of the peninsula. Considering the city’s overcrowded public schools and neighborhood opposition to new schools in residential areas, I am surprised that the city hasn’t reused some of the vacant buildings as schools.
Also vacant is the Willett Farmhouse, hidden behind thick vegetation. It predates the fort and is a link to a period when the peninsula carried the name Willet’s Point. The chapel is leased to a Korean congregation while the Officers’ Club is used by Bayside Historical Society.
Most of Fort Totten’s coastline is rocky, unsuitable for a beach. Its swimming pool however, is open to the public during the summer.
FNY will soon have a more comprehensive look at Fort Totten.
Francis Lewis Park
This 9-acre park covers a remnant of the property that belonged to Francis Lewis. The Welsh-born merchant represented Queens in the signing of the Declaration of Independence and his name also appears on a local high school and the north-south boulevard that stretches from Whitestone to Rosedale. The city acquired this park in 1937. Its beach is useful for walking, launching canoes and fishing but signs inform visitors that swimming is prohibited.
The northernmost avenue in Queens is Second Avenue, which is the first number in a grid sequence that extends to 165th Avenue in Howard Beach. In 2004, a private cul-de-sac was constructed between Second Avenue and the water’s edge, containing four extravagant Mediterranean palaces. As a private road, it has its own custom-made sign.
As Whitestone has a large Greek population, it is possible that the street’s name comes from the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea. According to the historian Strabo, its name is Phoenician for “rise by the shore.”
Across the street from Samos Lane, a fire hydrant is tastefully wrapped by paving stones. Second Avenue does not have sidewalks.
Little Bay Park
When one visits Little Bay Park, the curved coastline is reminiscent of Orchard Beach.
This is no accident as in the early postwar years, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses intended to construct Clearview Beach on this site. Across the East River, Ferry Point Park also has a curved shoreline that was designed for a beach. Neither ever went beyond planning stage.
An aunt and uncle of mine used to live in the Le Havre apartments. I recall a while on black sign in the the lobby of their apartment house with the initials LH on it. I used to think it meant LeFrak House until now. Their apartment had a great sweeping view of Long Island Sound and the Whitestone Bridge. The terrace was accessible from both the living room and master bedroom. The master bedroom and living room had wall-to-wall windows on the exterior wall. The fridge in the kitchen was mounted on the ceiling over the counter like an overhead kitchen cabinet! If this apartment ever went co-op or condo, it’d be worth a mint!
They are co-ops and have been since the mid 80s . They sell for upwards of 300,000
Re Le Havre- It was built by Levitt ( of the several Levittowns in the US) . Its original name was ” Levitt House” and the initials “LH” were imbedded in the tile floor of each of the 32 lobbies. When the complex went co-op in the 80s , I believe, it could no longer be called by its original name and the developers had to decide whether to rip up 32 lobby floors or find a name that would have the same initials. Hence, Le Havre , the name of a very large French port city.
I grew up in Whitestone (10-06 148th St.) and spent almost every non-school day in Francis Lewis Park. Many days were spent riding my bike to Utopia Lane to watch the bridge construction. If memory serves, Cresthaven CC had a pool that was open to the public (25 cents) during the day except when being used by the CYO Catholic Youth Org. day camp (I think around noon for 2 hours). Wonderful place to grow up in the 50’s & 60’s.
yes there was a public pool there ,separate from the country club .Went there many times .nice pool.Little secret in congested Queens pools.
Hi Fred: Are you related to College Point’s infamous Mayer’s Marina?
In 1969:I keep my boat in Mayer’s Marina.
The pool you are thinking of was the Whitestone Pool, open to the public. Cresthaven had two private pools, one for adults with a diving board and one kiddie pool, separate but both did host the CYO day camp programs. Cresthaven also had on their grounds both the Whitestone Boat Club and Cresthaven Yacht Club which remnants may still be seen possibly today.
Thats right. It was run by Father Flemming. I worked there for Frank Tokar that ran the entire facility. The 2 pools were for Cresthaven and the CYO. I also worked on the 2 boats that the CYO used to give kids rides in the sound, They were housed at the boat club. The Whitestone pool was opened to the public. Donny, a family member of Father Flemming’s, pretty much ran the pool and lived in the house behind it. He had a huge English Mastiff dog which used to patrol at night. The dances at the club in Cresthaven were quite the events. Aww, the memories.
Frank Tokar was my father!
My Mom and Grandmother were very close friends with Msgr. Fleming and introduced him to Cresthaven, where he ended up running the CYO camp. I’m named after him. He officiated the marriage ceremony of my wife and I. What a great priest. He conducted our Pre Cana by asking us to give him a tour of SUNY Maritime College (where I graduated college). He was right across the river from it for 35 years and had never seen the campus. We had a ball on that tour! God Bless him.
Lucille A Mackenzie – Your Dad was referred to as “Uncle Frank” in our household. During heavy snowstorms your Dad would plow our street (15th Drive between 149th and 150th). He knew the Sanitation Dept would eventually get around to in – probably in May lol. He would do it as a favor to my Dad, George J Murray Jr (FDNY). Nice to read your comment. George J Murray III
This is me: PS193 (class of ’61), St.Luke’s (’63) Bishop Reilly (’67)
My name is Paul and my family lived on 6th Ave, four doors west of 149th…
I was allegedly the barefoot handball champion of “Whitestone Park” (1964)
are any of my old friends out there??
Does anyone remember a day camp on the water in Whitestone called Wide Wings?
Sorry, spent many summer days in Whitestone and can only remember the CYO day camp. I delivered the LI Star Journal in Malba, not that it has any relevance to your post.
Yes – It was on the shore in Queens, not far west of the Throgs Neck Bridge, on which construction was just being finished my first year there. I was a counselor there during the summers of 1960 and 1961. Did you have questions about the camp? Were you there?
There were two camps. One was Wide Wings and was closer to the Throgs Neck bridge. I remember it had an old mansion house and a large, for a little kid, wooded area. Closer to the water, the pool had a pool house that overlooked the water and we used to take rowboats out into the river. That camp closed when the property was sold and the owner reopened closer to the Whitestone Bridge calling the camp Wings. Its clearly gone now from the google earth view, but it had a huge pool in a T shape. I did my red cross junior lifesaver course there. This is all from memory, but it had acreage and was fenced. Coming in from the entrance there was a building with a few offices and then girls lockers went to the left and boys to the right. To the left of the building was a ball field, but us older kids could hit softballs on the roof of the building. Behind the building was a small open area and then a large tent where kids got lunch or played when it rained. To the right of the building was the pool, and then open space. There was a kitchen between the pool and the building, which was attached to the main building. There was an old abandoned Divco type truck (think old milk truck) way out back used for storage and a few small kids buildings to play in. On weekends and evenings it was open as a swim club. I would love to find some old pictures of the place. As a teenager I worked there 2 summers for $100 a summer.
My grandparents took care of the Whitestone Point Lighthouse and after they passed away my parents took it over until 1952 when the switch was put on land. There were two pools in Whitestone – Cresthaven and the Whitestone pool and Haylocks Day Camp across from Whitestone pool. I grew up in Whitestone in 1931 and remained there until 2007 and am now in Florida.
Hi Anne Marie I’m thinking your family must know my mom’s family Eddie and Loretta Day were my grandparents, he was the mail man out of the Post Office on a 150th street and delivered to all of Beachurst. My mom was born in 1926 she just turn 91 and she also lives in Florida now. She had 2 older brothers Eddie and Gene and one younger brother Bobby.
My mother always spoke of Mrs. Day. I’m a Zappavigna, my mother Madeline, Dad is Louie, who was a general contractor.
Hi Margaret Deciccio….I my name is Linda. I am now 68. I grew up on 14th ave next to Grace Church. A Mr Zappavigna a contractor lived on 154th St right at the end of 14th Ave. The Oleskiew families lived a few houses north on 154 st and on 14th Ave across from me. Live in Babylon now. Was looking up the old neighborhood. I used to walk to Whitestone pool & Ft Totten as a kid. Lots of woods now all houses.
I have some memories of my parents taking us when we were quite young to a park under the Whitestone Bridge for a picnic! If my memory serves me correct (and there is no guarantee these days!!!) there was a very large cement dug out area dug with lots of sprinklers! We used to go there in our bathing suits to cool off! Am I just imagining this or did it really exist?!?
There was a sunken concrete sprinkler area in the park. I think it had an iron fence around it. Also a similar sunken sand box. Also big wooden seesaws, metal swings, metal kiddie swings, high metal slides, and high, dangerous metal monkey bars. Good times!
I remember that as well. Had a black iron fence surrounding it. Loved it!
You remembered it correctly. All of those playground items are now probably considered too dangerous but somehow you and I an tens of thousands of other kids survived it!
The CYO camp in the 1970’s would love to see pics, as I attended at a young age maybe 5-7yrs old and have memories of taking the bus there from Rego Park. Any links to anything related would be great thx
I remember Wide Wings camp. I have a photo of my brother wearing a Wide Wings tee shirt.
We used to enjoy the Sunday afternoon dances at Cresthaven Country Club. My best friend and I met our wives there. Many
wonderful Sunday afternoons we spent there in the early 60’s.
Thanks for this. Growing up in Whitestone in the 60’s and 70’s, the waterfront (other than F. L. Park) was always a mystery to me, what with the large Tropicana plant, and then the private lanes and houses that you mention. Plus in days before easy access to aerial photos, it was even harder to imagine what went on at the waters edge. Real “terra incognita” as they say.
I do remember the public pool at Cresthaven CYO (Which may have also been known as “Whitestone Pool”?), which if I remember correctly may have been a salt water pool. (Ugh….where did that water come from then?)
Finally, F.L. Park used to offer one of my favorite quintessential NY experiences, which is hanging out in the cool space beneath a major bridge. We used to go right down on the rocks under the south anchorage and fish, smoke, hang-out, whatever. Alas, post 9/11 I believe there is a full time police presence and/or other means to prevent that. So few secret places to hang out at anymore….
Where was the Tropicana plant? I remember going on a school trip there in elementary school.
Tropicana was located on 154th street, off the water for deliveries by boat. Has been gone a while.
I still see tropicana trucks there and a new cvs taking over the waldbaums,plus waterfront restaurant ponte …something.
152nd Street and 10th Avenue
End of 154st. I worked there 1 summer while in college
Tropicana had property at the foot of 154th street in Beechhurst. There was a gate and the Tropicana trucks came and went from the lot. Waldbaums Shopping Center was built, giving us a supermarket and some small shops like Stage Variety Store and a pizza place, a bank, etc.
THE WATER – I worked at both Cresthaven Country Club and the Whitestone Pool – so I know the salt water came right from the East River next door. It was chlorinated pretty well so no one every got sick. But still…..???
Rich, did you work for Frank ?
The Frank was probably Frank Tokar who ran everything on the CYO property. Great mechanic – organizer – I worked on the African Queen and the African King at Whitestone and also on the ,Manhattan which ran out of Cresthaven – those were great days – counselors – bug juice – lunches – and hundreds of life jackets.
Frank was my Grampa! Passed away a few years ago…a great man to the very end, and a wonderful loving Grandfather my whole life. We miss him dearly, thanks so much for mentioning and remembering him. He dedicated his life to the CYO and children wherever he was!
do u remember the nagys
I remember swimming in Whitestone Pool. They assigned you a locker key for the day and it was on an elastic loop that went around your ankle so you would not lose it. On summer days they had bands playing at the pool. That’s we went to meet girls, mostly unsuccessfully though!
I still have several entrance tickets for Whitestone Pool from 1973 . I loved staying with my parents and brother going up the hill by the benches where the cooking grills were. I remember the
rubber loop that went around your angle/wrist which held the key you needed for your locker. Admission at that time was $1.50 . There were so many different types of pools for people of all ages and sizes. I remember always seeing that gray colored Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy ship docked on the other side of the Throgs Neck Bridge in the Little Neck Bay.
John I came here in search of info about Whitestone Pool and you seem to have many memories of it. I remember the ankle loop with the key as well. I went to it between ’55 and ’62 but I see you were still going there in 1973. Do you know when it closed, what happened to it
and exactly where it was located? I lived on 26th Ave off of 150th in Flushing but we went there a lot. I had relatives who lived in Whitestone. The pool is a fond memory. I went to St Luke’s for 1st and 2nd grade and PS 79 for 3rd through 6th.
David. I don’t know the exact date it closed but I know CYO Day Camp closed around 1986 or 87 which was located on 3 Ave & 150 St. Whitestone pool was adjacent to the camp ground. I did , however, find this amazing YouTube video of Whitestone pool 1963/1964 which I feel you could more closely identify with than I can.
I used to fish off the barges near CYO with my dad many times and most of the inlets from there to College Point. So much around to keep us kids occupied growing up in the 70’s. It did get noisy mid 70’s since most of us had dirt bikes. Plenty of places to ride. I too played alot of paddleball undr Whitestone Bridge. You had to keep winning to hold the court, very competetive. My best paddleball partner was Micheal, Cant remember his last name but he was a tiny kid who played shirtless and he was awesome. Many memories to bore you with but enjoyed reading these comments.
boosters beach was my childhood.on 4 of july we greased a watermelon and had to capture it in water.then we had local bands for us teens,all played sunshine of your love,summer was quick/whitestone pool was great,they had a slide down from locker rooms/and yes CYO did take over beecghurst country club also………………whitestone/freddys pizza and carvel/is storks bakery still there? thanks for the memories,i went to st.lukes school and p.s.79 for kindergarten……
Check out my comment below!
I also went to St. Luke’s School and was a Booster Beach member. Graduated from St. Luke’s in 1976.
I went to PS 79 for Kindergarten, graduated from St. Luke’s in 1976, went to St. Francis Prep and graduated from St. John’s in 1984. I too went to CYO day camp. I lived on 24rd ave. In Whitestone. This site brings back a lot of fond memories.”
What year were you at St Luke’s?
storks is gone I wish I could still live there……
Me too! I miss the old Whitestone so much! I’m on the island now and it’s great but nothing beat Whitestone back in the day. How did it change so much ugh. Wish we can all make it what it was.
My brother in law is Karl Stork- He moved out to Montauk & was the head baker for Gurney`s Inn before retiring!
Mr. & Mrs. Stork have long since passed but Karl still has his older brother Nicky- People still rave about one of the best bakeries ever!
everyone Loved Storks’. Especially after Mass at St Luke’s on Sunday.
3 generations of my family, the Currys, lived in Beechhurst. A fourth generation visits their grandfather, Ed, still living there.
Hello Brenda live upstate for the last 16 years but my mom still lives there .I occasionally see Ed.was actually in Whitestone yesterday
My Great grandfather Edward Cleary had a farm on 14th Avenue around 1900 in White Plains, any suggestions on how to find more information about the farm?
Thanks, John Prinzivalli, Hadley, MA
I grew up in Whitestone 1947-1959. Went to PS 193, 79 and 30. LIVED at the Whitestone Pool for multiple summers, Had a season’s pass, would walk there from my home 149th St and 11th Aven. Remember the Juke Box on the handball courts and older teenagers dancing – especially the girls with big hair. My italian immigrant grandfather and I would pick dandelion leaves for salad at the Whitestone Park. My family was one of the original members of Boosters Beach and my father a founding member of the Whitestone Ambulance Corps the precursors of EMT’s. I played countless games of softball in the PS 193 hardtop school yard and lost lots of money playing Whte Lighnng at the checkerboard tables in the school yard.
Please excuse the last post, that was Edward Cleary on 14th Street in Whitestone queens.
Hey Zoso! I’ve parallel experiences to yours. I also went to PS 79 and then St Lukes through 4th grade, but then off to Holy Trinity & St. Agnes for the rest! I’ve fond memories of Freddie’s Pizzeria in “the Village,” with its hitching post and a slice that, at one time,cost the same as a subway ride, 20 cents. I remember Carvell and their raspberry sorbet and Storks with their jelly donuts. Many summer days at CYO (bug juice) @ Cresthaven Pool, where, during its country club time, Bernie taught me the crawl. At other times, we went to Whitestone Pool. Frances Lewis Park was neverland to me. I’d take my bike down the hill toward the water and sometimes fish under the bridge with my grandfather (Poppy). Otherwise, I’d cycle through Malba, College Point, Flushing and Fort Totten. There was Adventurers Inn, the Aero Slife, Golf City, a watching the planes at Flushing (Speeds) Aiport At low tide, I’d go to the Cement Pier in Malba and enter what I called the tunnel and what I now believe was a storm discharge outlet! There were long walks with the neighborhood kid to the glen near the Trogs Neck Bridge for live music during the summer. When we got a little older and had phony proof in hand, we went to the Mona Kai (near Bohacks & Tropacana) for a Flaming Volcano or to Rum Bottoms for some music. Funny, I found this site when I got curious about the fate of Cresthaven & Whitestone Pools ( I left the east coast for the west in early in the early 1980’s). I enjoyed walking down memory lane and am so thankful for my time on 11th and 13th Avenues.
i grew up in whitestone on 12 th road off of 150th street. I remember Cherry valley dairy, Storks, Freddies pizza, Chris’s card shop. Entered window painting contests. I wish I could find some of these awards from the window painting constests to give to my son. I miss the old Whitestone. We were middle class. We lived in a house on 12 th rd/ Life was good. We had Freddies Pizza, Bertlesons and a really great life We went to Whitestone park and watched the river go by under the bridge.We watched the Throgs Nweck bridge go up and Bayside explode, Now whitestone is an elite community. Before it was middle class. Oh well. New York is becoming too gentrified. The average person cannot live there anymore because it is too expensive, Where does the middle class live now anyway.?
I attended Immanuel Lutheran School from 1959-1968. Part of the daily routine walking home from school was to either get an Italian Ice at Bertlesons (5 or 10 cent sizes) or a slice of Pizza at Freddies (15 cents per slice, 20 cents for a Sicilian slice). Sometimes I would have to get a haircut at Frenchy’s Barber Shop. It cost $1.25 in those days. On the very day JFK was assassinated, my brother and I walked home and stopped by Chris’s Card Shop to see if we placed in the recent window painting contest (we painted a picture on one of the windows at Bohack’s Market on 14th avenue). The paper posted on Chris’s window said we came in 7th place (out of eight top spots) for our age category. It was exciting! The prize was not a trophy though, we each were awarded an art set. Only 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place got trophies. I loved Whitestone in those days! My brother still lives there.
I’m still here! Have been for 45 years. I wouldn’t call it an elite neighborhood, but I do call it home. We have become a small city with many diversified cultures. It is not the small town I grew up in anymore, but to me, it’s still a great place to raise my family.
Many went to Long Island, including me lol
I’m trying to find out the name of the rowboat rental at the foot of Clintonville Street across from the Whitestone armory. I remember going there in the 1970’s.
Hi Paul I went to st Luke’s school my dad worked in the bank of manhattan on150th st larrycarroll my mom worked for dr glass I had a sister Joan Carroll @ a brother Larry nickname bubby
Karl Bertleson (who used to work in that ice cream store) was one of the partners of the Whitestone Delicatessen (Across the street from Stork’s Bakery and Cherry valley) The other two were Richard Jensen and Ludwig Richardson. It was a German themed deli then, I worked there a number of years while attending college. The regulars called me “Red”.
Vets fishing station .you could buy all your tackle. Rent a row boat andante buy sand worms for a day of fishing
My good friend Obi worked at Whitestone Deli when we were teens. Great deli!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just discovered this blog and it brought back so many memories. My cousin was Richey Jensen ..one of the owners of Whitestone deli. To anyone that knew him..sorry to say he passed on many years ago..more than 20. I also adored Storks and hung out at Bertlesons..loved the Italian ices or sherbet they had in the little white paper cups. My summers I lived at Beechhurst beach. I remember the raft well…as well as the rats and Coney Island whitefish in the east river…but we survived! That was in the sixties…the water got better since then thankfully.They were such good times. I live not far from Tampa Florida now but have gone back a few years ago. My house on 12th ave bet 154 and 157th st is all redone . All the places everyone spoke about sparks a memory. My sister had her wedding at Cresthaven CC. I was active at Immanuel Lutheran church and my cousin Richey’s wife taught at their school. My twins were christened and had a luncheon upstairs at Mayer’s Marina where my husband at the time worked. Now I am rambling. I just enjoyed reading everyone’s posts so much. Thanks for the memories! Just saw Pat Gabriel’s post…yes the penny candy store..forgot all about that one..thank you…and your street was the best for sleigh riding…mine was the bus route and got plowed!
We too lived on 12th road between 154th and 157th. We loved going to Beechhurst Beach, swimming out to the big wooden raft, or from the wooden steps at the end, getting burgers and fries from the concession, dressing up for the Saturday night dance. We often talk if the best bakery ever: Stork’s, and their crumb cake, kruellers, cookies. It was the best bakery around. We enjoyed Freddie’s pizza too and the Clintonville Bar Restaurant for fried shrimp and spaghetti. I remember walking to Sams Penny Store on 14th Avenue with it’s glass cases of loose candy. Riding bikes all over Beechhurst, Whitestone, malba. So safe back then.
Was Bertleson’s the little ice cream parlor near Stork’s? I did not know the name of that ice cream parlor, as I did not go there often. (We went to Carvel all the time.) But I remember it well nonetheless. The front window had a changing display for the season or holiday, and would feature boxes of candy you could buy. There were wooden booths to sit in. I remember having a sundae at the counter and the ice cream and syrup dripping over the side of the metal tulip shaped dish. And once I got an ice cream cone there and they charged me 15 cents (probably in the late 60s or early 70s), which was a mind-blowingly low price. If only we could travel back in time…
Yes, The Bertleson’s made their own chocolates and they were good! Booths and counter, still remember it clear as a bell after all this time. Stork’s bakery had the BEST ever hard rolls, could not wait till after mass on Sunday morning to pick them up!
I so miss the crumb cake and pecan ring we would get every Sunday at Storks. That was the go to bakery for our entire family. I grew up with owners kids. Best Sicilian and white pizza was Freddies. Such everlasting memories.
There were 2 pools: the whitestone pool was the public pool at the end of the street. The cresthaven country club pool was only for the CYO kids and for the country club people after the camp. All are gone. Went to Boosters beach and sold my share/spot, what an idiot I am!!!! It’s sad what whitestone has become. I cry when I go back and don’t want to keep doing it to myself. Boosters beach is disgusting with all those overgrown mansions there. Same with the whitestone pool and cresthaven gone. The mansions are overcrowding what used to beautiful old farm houses and Tudors. This should have remained a historic town. Instead, money polluted/corrupted the business men there. Oh well.
Beechurst had a beach i went to as a child next to tropicana etc.
I am looking for information about the Day camp that was at PS 184 back in the 70’s. Does anyone know the name or have any info on it.?
WOW. I too attended the PS 184 Day Camp (Summertime only – for two summers). Time frame = Summer 1953 & 1954 ~OR~ Summer 1954 & 1955. I walked from my apartment by the golf course, with my mother. Later she would pick me up. 1st year = We played there, then boarded buses to the CYO Cresthaven Pool, went swimming and had lunch overlooking the East River and the next door dock and marina. 2nd year = Again met and played at PS 184, then boarded buses to Francis Lewis Park (Whitestone Bridge), went wading under the sprinkler sprays in their concrete basins. Then went under the locust trees to dry off and eat lunch. I see PS 184 has been remodeled. Does not look like it did in 1950s, especially the windows facing the 21st Road.
I went to the day camp at 184 for one summer in the early 70’s. Ps 184 was my public school. I only remember going there that one summer and have memories of playing dodge ball in the gym,and going on a day trip to either rye Playland or rockaway beach (whichever had a swimming pool there ).
I lived in bldg 16 apartment 2D. We moved there in 1958. When it went Condo, my mother bought it. After she died it was sold for a great deal of money.
I delivered the Long Island Star Journal to Building 16 at LeHarve from 1966-1968, perhaps you were one of my customers? I loved those days!
Did you know that Robert E. Lee was the chief engineer responsible for building Fort Totten? That there is a tunnel (which has caved in) under the bay connecting Fort Totten to Fort Schyler? That the old Sylvania or GE property had some type of radioactive incident around 1960?
Hi. I lived there in Clearview, Bayside from 1953 till I joined the Army in 1973 and left my family there for the beautiful Tidewater Virginia …. never regretted leaving. To answer your questions: a) Yes, Lieutenant Robert Lee did supervise the construction of both Fort Totten and its companion Fort Schuyler. After graduating West Point, now an Engineering Officer, participating in the Mexican War, was his assignment but he was not the only one, just part of a group of Army engineers. As the first stones were being laid, he then was assigned to help design Fort Monroe, Hampton. So off to Virginia he went. Was there also to see the first stones being laid and then went home (that later became Arlington Cemetery). Fort Monroe was completed and then the Civil War broke out. As you know, 1861, he sided with Virginia and the South and quickly went to the Confederate Richmond, leaving Washington behind. So as the war progressed, to spite him, the US Army (the North) confiscated his plantation (wife was still home) and immediately began burying bodies on his front lawn. When the war ended, he came home, packed up his family, and moved south to become Washington College President. And his property became Arlington Cemetery.
b) There is no tunnel between Fort Totten and Schuyler, BUT there is a well-hidden tunnel that goes under the hill that protects the back fort from the front where the cannons were. Wagons would bring in the cannon shells and explosives and store them in the back of the hill, then place on carriages, pass down through the tunnel to load the cannons. There was a “Bayside Bell Rod & Gun Club” (c.1962-66+/-) that was able to use the Fort Totten indoor rifle & pistol range and where was the range? Buried in the “Old Fort” on the ground floor by the tunnel and the entrance road from the pier.
c) Sylvania Research Laboratory very possible had an incident c.1960. I lived there, across from Clearview Golf Course. Do you remember the place? The two unique, red-tile roof buildings besides the entrance? They were on the lawns and very close to the service road while the two large research laboratories were further back by the forest(s)? What else do you know about Sylvania besides the rumor?
The red Spanish style tile roofs belonged to the
last mansion left of those that had property that
originally stretched all the way down to the
water before the Cross Island Pkwy was
constructed. It belonged to Dolores del Rio, a film celebrity back in the day. Her mansion became
GT&E’s Administration Building. I worked there
from ’66-68, but never heard anything about an
I am interested in information about P.S. 79–primarily about how and why that magnificent building was torn down. Why were people thinking? What a loss.
Does anyone remember Principal John Campbell? I remember taking a note into his office when I was a little girl. He was quite intimidating. He smoked a pipe in there, and there was a carpet on the floor. He had a big first-floor office that faced the front yard. I don’t think that type of man even exists any longer.
The original PS 79 was a building as I recall built in 1898 with an addition around 1916 and at least one more addition. I finished 6th grade there in 1963, JHS 185 in 1966 and Flushing High School in 1969. Campbell was the prinicipal when I was there as well. The building had significant shortcomings. One thing was that if you brought your lunch you had to eat in the auditorium due to lack of space in the cafeteria. But do you remember the stairwells that were in there with the glass with the wires in them? One of them collapsed as I recall and Campbell got hurt as he was on the stairs when they broke. Geez… old old memories. The old one was just obsolete….. I would bet the wiring, etc. couldnt support modern electronics.
The building, as I recall was originally fronting 149 St with a large yard space behind it. They put the new one in the back.
Replying to Howard Mellon: Thanks for the info. I have a neighbor who attended P.S. 79 in the 40s and 50s, and Mr. Campbell was there then, too. I think she said he was the assistant principal. I would love to get some information on him. I wonder where he lived and where he studied.
I had never heard about the collapsing stairs. I do remember the stairwells. I have to believe the building could have been renovated instead of destroyed. There is a very old public school building in Flushing, just off Union Street, catty corner to Flushing HIgh School, that is still used today. My mother went there as a child.
Here is a link to some photos of P.S. 79 in the 30s. The wing and gym and auditorium were not built yet.
I attended the CYO Day Camp from 1952 – 1960 when I became a Counselor. Worked on the waterfront both at Whitestone and next door at Cresthaven for several summers with really tremendous kids from all the Catholic high schools in Queens. We gave boat rides on the Manhattan at Cresthaven and on the African Queen and African King from Whitestone. We put life jackets on all the campers and sailed under both the Whitestone and Throggs Neck Bridge. So beautiful there and such wonderful times – the best 12 summers of my life.
I became the Whitestone Boating Director as the CYO Day Camp reached a capacity of 5,000 campers a day – spread out between 6 properties – Whitestone, Alley Pond Park, Cresthaven, Kisena Park, Astoria Pool and Cunningham Park. The kids would spend half a day swimming and the other half in the park – with bug juice before the bus ride home.
Those were truly wonderful summers and gave us all life-long memories of happy, safe and exciting times.
Dear Rich, a few years ago I stumbled into a Facebook page being posted by a fellow named Ritchie Ferraro. Like me and you, he had a childhood using the CYO aka Cresthaven Pool. So one sunny day he went to reminisce and walked along the Powell’s Cove Blvd and took photos of the pool and abandon mansions (becoming Cresthaven CYO Camp) across the street. Sure enough the pool was still there and he shot photos through the fence. Also took a photo of the street. Then later, through my research I found a postcard from the Astoria Historical Society the showed the pool and dock/marina next door. I used the pool for one summer (1954 or 1955). The next summer, we (CYO Day Camp) took the bus from PS 184 to Francis Lewis Park and used the wading pools (spray heads) there. Amazing the names changes = a) I remember the pool called CYO Pool but now know it as Cresthaven, and b) I remember the park/spray heads called Whitestone Park but now known as Francis Lewis Park. It can get confusing.
Yes the CYO property started small – the Brooklyn Diocese just took over the Cresthaven Country Club and its 2 pools, expanded by taking over the Whitestone Pool as the small day camp grew and grew and grew. We used the yellow NYC public school buses to pick up campers at their parish church and transport them to one of the main 4 properties – Whitestone, Cresthaven, (one block apart) Alley Pond Park or Kissena Park.
Our lunches were provided by the NYC Board of Ed. Bug juice and cookies before the ride home.
They were just happy care-free days with great kids and counselors.
We covered all of Queens, and went a little into Brooklyn by the Queens border, and into the Bronx just over the Throgs Neck Bridge. Speaking of the Bronx, once every 2 weeks we went to the very famous Bronx Zoo folr half a day.
No crime – sex – violence. It was a wonderful time. Maybe we had one or 2 beers once in a while. The drinking age was 18 ?!?!?
I’m now 72 but I still have many vivid memories of growing up at CYO way back then.
Was Ritchie Ferraro the younger brother of Dino Ferraro?
154th to 162nd CIP to the Water is Beechurst, the area between 162nd utopia and Leharve is known as Robinswood
Yep went ps79 those big front doors slammed really loud and mr Campbell with the smelly pipe,mr Harmon asst principle,those teachers randazzo,rathner,Welch, and best of all varsi s 75 cent hero’s and don’t forget frans candy store a penny a piece 25 cents lasted all day
Ahhhh, Fran’s Candy Store … spent many days there trying to decide how best to spend my 10 cent allowance whether it be on the loads of penny candy to Revell plastic model kits or the paper cap gun ammo which we scratched with our fingernails ‘till they were stained with gunpowder. Still remember the sign posted at the counter “Thou shall not steal or thou shall get thy ass kicked”.
It was officially named The Sylvania-Corning Nuclear Corporation Metallurgical Laboratory. They primarily conducted testing on Uranium and Thorium. Before Bay Bridge Condominiums were built on the property in 1980, the DEP did testing on the property and determined there was no contamination. The Bank of North America bought the property and the testing was surface only. I remember riding my bike through the empty lot and seeing pools of colored purple, orange and green water in the mud. Draw your own conclusions. Also, nearby under the Throgs Neck Bridge was a horseshoe ring (still there) and Bands would play in the summertime. Silver Star and other local Bands would build a stage and run a power line from the lamp posts. Overhead was the Goodyear Blimp with animation lighting up the sky. The Clearview Golf course was our hang out. Whitestone in the 1960s was heaven. As close to small town America as you could get. Candy Stores on every corner. Block Parties. Good Humor Trucks. Mr. Softee. The green knife sharpening truck ringing its bell. Ring-A-Lario until midnight. Sleigh Riding down suicide hill and “skitching” down Utopia Pkwy. Parades up 150th St from Memorial Field into Whitestone by Gleasons Funeral Home. Riding our bikes in old Kent Cleaners off Clintonville and other lots before they were all gone. Playing DAC Baseball in Fort Totten then sneaking into the Fort and hiding when the MP’s in the Green Jeep would come through the tunnel. Lighting “Punks” from Little Neck Bay for fireworks on the 4th of July. Ice skating in Bowne Park. I attended PS 184. It had a great Playground with Monkey Bars and the Long Swing sets which are banned today. We used to walk from school to Scotty’s Pizza on Franny Lew and Willets Point. Still the best I’ve ever had. Milk Maid was there before Mcdonald’s opened. I remember there sign saying 100, 000 served, then finally a Million. Now Billions….should have bought stock when I first saw the sign!! The ’70s were like the wild west. Hot Rods up and down the Boulevard. People outside Carvel watching the races on lounge chairs. Hot Rod Magazine there taking pictures. The Mona Kai and the Shore Tavern were tough drinking Bars. Pizzarama was where Dime Bank is today. As close to Mels Drive Inn as you can get. Elephas’, Avanti and Camouflage (Monday’s) Night Clubs rocked Bayside. Jones Beach field 6 then Nathans in Oceanside. Anyone remember Carosons Hardware store on Francis Lewis off 26th ave? Archie would run into the basement and find anything you needed. How about the Topless Bar off the Cross Island Service road in Beechurst. How they managed to open that i’ll never know. If there was a center of the Universe….. Whitestone would be it!
Wow! I share all of your memories! I remember Kent Cleaners. There were a set of whistles every day telling workers it was time to be at work. The while at Kent’s blew at 7:45 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and again at quttin’ time at 4:00 p.m. I have been trying to find a photo of the Kent water tower for years but with no luck. I remember the Kent Trucks coming in every afternoon along 20th avenue with cleaning items from their entire network of dry cleaning shops. My next door neighbor, Rosalee Reilly, in Whitestone was the VP for Personnel at Kent’s Cleaners her husband Charlie worked in the Post Office. Rosalee’s mother, Myra O’Brien (maiden name Myra Surgeon) lived to be 101 and died in 1971. She remembered taking goods to market from her family farm in Whitestone to the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx via the old Ferry from Whitestone to Ferry Point in the Bronx. She had a vivid memory of the Blizzard of ’88 (that’s 1888) that buried NYC in its greatest snowfall of all times!
I also went to ps184 from you 1966 to 1972.What years were you there?
Doug, its like you picked the memories right out of MY head. Bet we crossed paths in the past.
I grew up in the 70’s so remember some of the stuff you are mentioning. The green knife sharpening truck used to come down our block everyday(138 street between 11ave-14ave. My gramps was a regular customer. I am not old enough to remember that Milk Maid but went to McDonalds at that spot often and when i had kids to play in ball pit jungle gym. I can’t remember the Asian Restaurant in the whitestone shopping center other than it had some reputation. Many more memories to share but another time. Thanks for thes insightfull kodak moments, it makes me proud my dad chose this area to live.
I like this post but to call a signal light a lighthouse is a stretch ,and I believe the only lighthouse in Whitestone ,the one with the bell was by where the original white stone was by the wildflower estate or hammerstein .ansion aka ripples on the water
157-34 10th Ave. Yes 60’s/70’s Beechurst was a boy’s paradise. PS 193, Stage, Waldbaums, Adventure’s Inn, Tropicana, LeHarve, CYO, Cresthaven.., seemed like you could bike for a thousand miles and discover something wildly adventurous every single day. Crime did not even exist. House I grew up in is still there; Zillows in the millions now seems absurd I thought we were poor 🙂
“Fran’s” candy store! I had a vivid picture of the couple who ran the store but the name was not there. I remember Fran’s husband wearing a baggy cardigan and bedroom slippers in the store, cigarette hanging out of his mouth. And the old mother of the husband or Fran lived with them in that small space in the back of the store. Penny candy–licorice, Bazookas, sugar dots on a paper strip–in a little brown bag.
Mr. Harmon would perform in the auditorium occasionally. He played the saw and did ventriloquism with a dummy he would take out a suitcase.
Randazzo is ringing a bell. I did not have her, but… Did she have reddish hair? Or maybe that was Miss/Mrs Scarpetta, a name that just popped into my head. I didn’t have her, wither. But this mystery teacher was into Japanese culture, and I have a memory of her walking down the hall carrying a samurai sword. Maybe she was wearing a kimono! Had to have been around 1967.
I remember Fran as well! I remember her mom chasing me out of the store on day because she thought I had not paid for a pack of baseball cards! Fran came out and saved me from her mother’s wrath!
I’m pretty sure the Fran you are speaking of is my grandmother (unless there were two Frans who owned candy stores in Whitestone.) That description sounds exactly like my grandfather, Bill, and his mother, Bertha, who I never met but I know lived with them from family stories. They sold (or maybe just closed) the candy store and moved out to Long Island sometime in the late ’70s or early ’80s, around the time Bertha passed away. My grandfather died from cancer in 1986 and Fran passed away in 2012 at age 90, still as feisty as ever until the very end. She spoke very fondly of the store and would run into former customers from time to time.
Once, when our sixth-grade class was having some kind of special event, Fran let us use her burners to heat up the food. She used to make “pizza” on English muffin halves, even though there was a pizzeria next door. I think the pizza man was Sal or Vito.
Good ole Fran’s Candy Stores! Remember spending how much time trying to figure how to best spend my 10 cent allowance. There were the wafer flying saucers, dot strips, penny Bazookas, wax teeth, the Revell plastic model kits and the cap gun ammo we’d scratch until our nails were scorched with gunpowder. And then there was the sign at the counter meant to stave off sticky fingers “Thou shall not steal or thou shall get thy ass kicked”. All good memories!
I too grew up in all theplaces mentioned…Boosters Beach member#96….season pass to Whitestone pool..went to PS 79….I’m 73 now and closing my eyes I’m there again…Carvel On 149st..Bertelsons…Storks before First mass at St. Luke’s..hard roll, best jelly donut Daily News funnies ..Dick Tracy on front and Dondi on the back…could go on and on as I’m sure you know what I’m talking about…very early 50’s and 60’s…joined Navy in 63 from Holy Cross HS…St Luke’s was my grammar school…graduated in 59’…that’s it for now but there a bunch more in memories…Lenny
I was a paper boy from 1966 to 1968. I delivered the Long Island Star Journal, which yielded to the Long Island Press in 1968. They called us “Star Boys” in those days and, yes, we were all boys. There were 50 paper routes in Whitestone and I had Route #42 which delivered to Beechurst. I had The Beechurst, which is an iconic building still in existence today. It had five sections A, B, C, D, and E. and I had about 30 customers there. I would park my bike outside of section A, go up stairs, across the roof, to section B, down to my bike, get more papers and then up section C, across the roof again and down section D. Of course I had to go up and down the three floors of Section E because there was no section F! Then I had three private houses on Powels Cove Blvd. where I could practice my skills at actually throwing the papers to the stoops of the homes. Then it was on to four buildings in LeHarve, where I took the elevators up nine floors and slid the papers along the floor to the subscribers on each floor … easy peasy! The old Beechurst Building had interesting tiles on the floor. Some of them had the image of swasticas! The building was built in 1914 before Hitler had appropriated the swastica as his symbol. Surprisingly, I visited the Beechurst in 2017, 50 years after I delivered there, and the swastica tiles were still there! After I completed my route and before I went home each day, I stopped at Carpenter’s market on Clintonville Street and bought potato chips and a soda. Sometimes I bought Hostess Snowballs. Very decadent but it was MY MONEY! I remember at age 12 that I had to deliver those papers every day rain, snow, or shine and sickness or health! If I missed a day, Mr. Weber the route director would have fired me! There was NO ROOM FOR ERROR! That job taught me how to work and how to deliver and be reliable! There were NO EXCUSES! I remember having to wait on line each day for my papers and fighting through a “Lord of the Flies” type of environment to get my papers! Then 49 other kids and I had to fold our papers outside of the station office on Cross Island Parkway and 149th Street. It was a scene man! I had to deliver the Sunday paper at 6 a.m. each week and one day we had a blizzard! No excuses! I had to get my papers, hop the Q-15 at 15th and 150th Street and deliver my papers! Then, at 8 a.m. I had to light the candles at Immanuel Lutheran Church as an acolyte. Great memories!
Ed do you have a brother Robert in Cambridge, MA? I work in Cambridge and have been similarly reminiscing with him about my old Whitestone days (b 1962, attended PS 79 and Bleeker JHS, and also was a proud LI Press delivery boy…..etc etc.)
Mr. Campbell was an old kind of nasty man. Mr Harmon was a super nice gentleman, My favorite was Mrs. Frankel (my 3rd grade teacher). Most memorable day was seeing Mrs. Collins crying and later being dismissed early finding out President Kennedy died!
Lunchroom smelled so bad I was so thankful we ate in the auditorium. At that time, there was a sunken school yard that was later filled in with an addition to the building. A lifetime ago!!! I attended school from from 1962- 1966. Mostly good times
I have been trying to find information about the Whitestone ferry for many years. As a child I recall the remains of a ferry boat partially buried in the shore line of an old run down marina called Captain Bills. It was across the street from the old Naval reserve building by the CYO camp. We would go onto the ferry and could see the water through the rotted out deck boards, never thinking we could have fallen into the abyss below. Locals said it was once one of the ferries that ran between Whitestone and the Bronx. There was a Navy destroyer escort (Harris) docked there. The remains of its pier was still there a few years ago when I visited. Anyone have any further info? Thanks
Worked my youth from 1963-1967
When I was drafted. Started by serving snacks at
Bingo.Worked my way up to busboy then waiter
/bartender. Father Fleming’s family, Rita Hass her
Son Georgie keep the place going.There was always
work for students, off duty cops and fireman. Weddings
dances, rolling the tennis courts or painting at Whitestone pool
We were famiy
Still have the watch Fr Fleming’s brother Willie
gave me when I left for the Army
Hi Jerry! I hope you will see my message. I too was born in 1962, lived in Whitestone, and also attended PS 79. I had Mrs. Bennett for 1st and 2nd grade. I do not remember the name of my 3rd grade teacher but remember a boy named Gerald Friedman who was in that class with me. If I remember correctly, you were a cute dark haired boy and a cub scout. When I had moved away to Peekskill, NY in April 1973, you sent me a letter. I remember missing you and I still have. that letter in box of childhood memories. I really loveWhitestone and PS 79 and have many wonderful memories of my childhood. I have talked about and have wondered what happened to the cute little dark haired boy from so long ago. Hope you are happy and doing well. I too also lived in Cambridge, Ma as a college student at Lesley College and Nanny. Great memories of my years in Cambridge. Would love to hear from you and share stories and memories. Not sure if you replied here if I would receive it. But if you would like to friend request or message me, you will be able to find me on facebook as Monica Mosquera-Cannon. Hope to hear from you my old childhood friend. Stay happy and healthy!
Hello Jerry Friedman ! Yesterday I wrote a Hi Jerry response to you. If you scroll down or up (?), you should see it
I was wondering if you are the same Gerald Friedman who I was in 3rd grade with at PS 79 in 1971. Still have card/letter you sent me when I moved away. Hope you see my message when you scroll down or up. Hope you are happy and healthy!
Does anyone remember an old wooden school house on 12th Road between Clintonville St and 152nd St? I grew up in the corner house diagonally across from Gleason’s Funeral home on 150th St. I went to kindergarten in that school early 1958. Then first grade at PS 192. Whitestone then was a classic old town. Joe Dragan. Oh, and Artie Quick’s candy store next to and later taken over by Stork’s Bakery.
Artie Quicks was tired and old when I hung out in Whitestone (yes, on the street corners). We hung out in front of Dirty Bob’s candy store. I played stick ball lots of times in Bohack’s parking lot with Billy Collela.
I grew up in Beechhurst, and lived on Riverside Drive. I spent the summers at the Beechhurst Beach,as well as my parents before me. It was a wonderful place to grow up, I often wonder what it is like now. My Dad sold our house many years ago, I have been told that they built 4 houses on his property. I am not sure I want to go back to see them. I often check real estate values for Beechhurst and I am amazed what houses are selling
for, and I live in California…They say you can never go home again,I guess that is the truth.
I knew your parents and sister.
If I remember correctly your family lived on Powells Cove Blvd. down towards the yacht club. Was your mother Kay Curci?
WE USE TO GO TO THE CYO SWIMMING , DOES ANYONE KNOW THE STREET IT WAS ON . ?
3rd Avenue & 150th Street, Whitestone, NY 11357
Hi Joanie and Brenda you lived on my Block 12 ave.my mother and father still live on 12 ave.I live on 12 road now never left .Joanie how is your sister Alita I hope I spelled it right .Brenda how is your brother Jerry?
Hi margret I knew your father well I remember your two Brothers too.Brenda I built a stoop for your uncle on 13 ave . Yesterday I came across a pamphlet from back in the day about joining the beach house beach. I recognize Philmoony and Bill Tekverk I called a Billy to identify some of the people in the photos how can I get it on this blog the photos I think you guys may find it interesting
Hi joanie you lived on my block Howie your sister Alita I hope I spelled it right how are you Brenda you lived across the street too how is your brother Jerry How are you frank? My mother and father still live on 12 ave I am still in the neighborhood. I remember when Beechhurst was Beechhurst. The dirt road on 12 ave and 154 The Beechhurst food market DiMaggio’s pizza stuies candy store 193 park beechhurst Beach hanging out . Ed I know your brother Artie . I went to St Luke’s had a paper route route 13 Freddy’s pizza $.25 a slice in 1969 storks bakery Karl Stork was in my class in the first and second grade I remember mrsStork bringing cookies every Christmas to school for the kids Hope to hear back from somebody this is the first time I’ve ever done this kind of thing
Went to 193, Mazel’s, Posner, Endress, England, Dodge, Bower. Lived near to Boosters in the late 60s.(I could hear all your parents partying at night). Spent a lot of time of my time in Francis Lewis Park. Swam at the CYO. Went down into the barges at the yacht club. You could walk from the park to the CYO along the shore if you didn’t mind climbing a few fences. Liived in LeHarve and Cryders before that. Went to Wide Wings and a nursery school near there that has become nameless in my memory. Played in the woods between the Renaissance and Wide Wings with my brothers. Played in the construction site for Cryder House. As young teenagers we would get someone to buy us a bottle in Whitestone village and then go to the park, or hang out outside the Bowling Alley. Ed Winters, are you related to Robert, now in Cambridge?
Some wonderful memories reading this! Here are some of mine:
Sneaking into Whitestone Pool, diving from the high dive and doing multiple flips
• Working for route drivers at Tropicana, getting there at 5:30 a.m. as a 12 year old, working all summer and having Wednesdays and weekends off. $25 a day made me feel wealthy.
• Milt, the Good Humor truck driver
• 17th Ave between 150th Place and Clintonville St was a dirt road. As was the end of Murray St past 16th Rd.
• PS 79 for kindergarten, and St Lukes for 1-8 grade. Monsignor Gordon, Father Hannon, Sisters Virginia Ann, Margaret Mary, Mrs. Delavalle, Mrs. Lavin, and the crossing guard, Mrs. Yannity. If you crossed the street not at her corner, she would make you cross back and forth 10 times saying “that’s a corner.”
• At St Lukes, Mrs. somebody, I don’t remember her name, would call the buses over the PA at the end of the day “Malba and colony for the second grade; Malba and colony for the third; Malba and colony for the 4th, 5th, and 6th; Malba and colony for the first. Beechurst one for the second grade…” and so on.
• Cherry Valley, Cedar Lane, Freddy’s Pizza, Carvel, Genovese Drug store, Bohacks, Stationery on 150th St and 14th Ave where you could get candy and comic books
• The 10th Ave crowd was the Sinobrias, Siracusas, and Larsens
• St Luke’s Bazaar every summer with the huge gambling tents for the over 18 crowd
• Playing paddleball on Saturdays and in the summer across from JHS 185 Bleeker
• Fick’s market was the butcher shop across the street from my house on 17th Ave and 150th St.
• Became Tom’s deli for many years
• On the negative side, I remember a mother being shot in the stomach and killed by two boys playing with a .22 rifle. She didn’t even know she had been shot. This had to be around 1978. My brother knew one of her sons, I think his name was Paul.
• Actually used to climb up the concrete anchorage for the Whitestone Bridge. My friends and I would cross our legs Indian style and shimmy up the V shaped grooves in the concrete to the top. Insane! 12 year olds don’t have much fear.
• The “tunnel” someone mentioned was a distinct memory. I think it was right under the Utopia Parkway near the Throgs Neck Bridge.
• Playing Asteroids and eating toasted buttered bagels at Bridge Lanes
• Some of my friends around 17th Ave were the Skaats, Weiss, Rice, LaPlace, Hertz, Thorgensen
Went to CYO day camp in the early 70’s. Each session lasted 2 weeks. During those 2 weeks they would take you the Bronx zoo, and for cookouts at Cunningham or Kissena park. Everyday a truck would come and bring us Kool-aid with bits of fruit in it and it was called ‘bug juice’. We would make a laynard for a key holder and a plaster cast of some religous figure. The pool had different caps for all to wear, depending on your swimming ability. White cap best, followed by blue cap middle and red cap the bottom. Bus would pick me up in morning from ST. Mathias in Ridgewood and take us home around 4. I was a quiet kid so i won best camper award about a dozen times. Lots of great memories.